The Octagon – November, 2021

Greetings all,

It is hard to believe that another season of showcasing Fintry and the Manor House has come and gone. Between Covid, fires and evacuations it was a summer to forget, to put behind us and start planning as we look forward to next year. With having no Fintry Fairs this year our revenue took a serious hit, and we can only hope that next year things will look a lot brighter on all fronts.

The Friends of Fintry Board will continue meeting monthly via Zoom, which makes life a lot easier as we will not have to drive to meetings during inclement weather and snow-covered roads. The Board continues to toss around ideas for fund-raising next year, including perhaps a calendar with photos of some interesting scenes from around the Fintry Estate. Stay tuned!

We are delighted to have our caretakers, Jeff and Louise back in the suite in the Manor House, where they will stay for the winter and keep an eye on things for us.

This month’s historical topic from our Curator Dan Bruce will be of interest to those patrons of BC Parks who travel and camp in the Merritt area.

“The central figure here is Penryn Goldman, actually the man after whom Monck Park is named. He is shown standing between his parents, Charles Sydney, and his mother, the Hon. Agnes Mary Goldman.     Charles Sydney Goldman had an extensive career in South Africa, as a war correspondent, ostrich farmer, with gold mining interests among other things.   He moved to BC in 1919 and founded Nicola Stock Farm (now known as Nicola Ranch).    His wife was the granddaughter of Sir Robert Peel who was twice Prime Minister ( 1834 – 1835 and 1841 – 1846 ) and who established the Metropolitan Police Force in London.

Nicola Ranch currently makes use of the historic buildings that were once part of the Townsite of Nicola, and we might remember the old Murray Church that stood right beside the highway through the ranch, and which recently fell victim to an arsonist.   Charles Goldman’s memorial, carved on a boulder in the churchyard survived however, and may still be seen there.  It was he who donated the land to the government that is now Monck Park.  When Penryn Goldman joined the Royal

Navy, rising to the rank of Commander in World War II, he changed his name from Goldman to Monck, (perhaps in case of being captured) hence the name of the Park.    The signature under the photo is taken from an autographed copy of the book he wrote when just out of his teens, “To Hell and Gone”, an account of his travels in Australia, and published by Gollancz in London, in 1932.

Charles Goldman was born in 1858, and after his various adventures in South Africa and British Columbia he sold the ranch and returned to England, to Yaverland Manor, on the Isle of Wight, where he died in 1958.  Yaverland was where the fossil of a medium sized carnivorous dinosaur was found in the 1930’s, and which was named Yaverlandia, a fact that Charles Goldman may well have been aware of.

It would seem that there was some communication between Charles Goldman and James Dun-Waters, and that some of the Fintry Ayrshire cows were sold to Goldman, and housed in the ” White Barn” that still stands at Nicola.  The manure bucket now in the octagonal dairy barn at Fintry came in the other direction a few years ago. The original Fintry one had been lost at some point in the past, but with the kind co-operation of the late Pat Roberts at Nicola, we were able to acquire this replacement, with thanks also to Ron Long, who got it back up and hanging as it should from the track around the barn.”   

In closing I would like to ask you, our members, if there is someone out there with a background in bookkeeping/accounting. Our trusty Treasurer John King, who has been with us for several years, wishes to really retire and we are looking for someone to take over this position. For more info please contact me directly at 250-309-7868.

‘Til next month, stay safe,

Kathy Drew

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park.

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